June 10, 2013
STORRS, Conn.- The 2013 University of Connecticut men’s track and field outdoor season came to a close this weekend after Jesse Chapman competed at the 2013 Outdoor NCAA Championships. Chapman was named an Honorable Mention All-American after finishing 20th in the decathlon. As a team, the squad carried over its success from the indoor season, earning its 13th all-time BIG EAST title, and finishing seventh at the IC4A Championships.
The season began with the UCF Invite, during which the Huskies posted 13 top-five finishes, then featured four of the next five events at home. Connecticut capitalized on its time in Storrs, earning 37 top-five finishes in the home opener, taking first place in the annual Dog Fight, and capturing the crown in the UConn Classic.
At the UConn Decathlon, Chapman was the top Connecticut finisher, taking second place in the event with a total of 6,969 points. Chapman finished in the top-three in seven of the ten events, and his consistency was something that was a staple of his season.
At the BIG EAST Championships, Connecticut finished the meet with 15 top-five performances en route to a 119.5 point showing that earned the program its fourth outdoor conference crown. Chapman was the lone Husky to capture a first place finish, while senior Chris Whyte took second in the 400m hurdles with a time of 53.21 and sophomore Selwyn Maxwell claimed third in the 110m hurdles with a time of 13.93. The victory gave UConn a sweep of the indoor and outdoor conference titles and marked the first time the feat had been accomplished since 2011.
UConn then competed in the IC4A Championships and earned seventh place with 35 points. Maxwell was the only Husky to reach the podium in an individual event, earning third place in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 13.94 seconds. Senior Jesse Drinks just missed the top-three when he crossed the finish line in fourth during the 100m dash, but still earned Connecticut five points for his effort. Ben Waruch and Sam Smith each finished in the top-ten of the decathlon, finishing seventh and eighth, respectively. Additionally, junior Eric Masington amassed five points after finishing sixth (17.01m) in the shot put and seventh (52.30m) in the discus.
The Huskies sent six athletes to compete in the East Regionals in Greensboro, N.C during the last weekend in May. Masington took 16th in the discus with a toss of 53.22m, while Josh Faboyede and Chris Ackell earned 15th and 30th place, respectively, in the hammer throw. Cory Duggan captured 16th place in the pole vault with a mark of 5.15m. Maxwell ended his season with a 22nd place finish in the 110m hurdles as he crossed the finish line in 17.37. Lastly, senior Jesse Drinks recorded a time of 10.55 in Thursday’s 100 meter dash, finishing in 40th place. While the Huskies did not have any qualifiers for the NCAA Championships at Regionals, Chapman had already secured a trip to Oregon to partake in the decathlon.
Chapman was the lone Husky to compete in the NCAA Championships in Eugene and completed the decathlon in 20th place with a total of 7,054 points. Chapman’s performance was highlighted by two top-five finishes in the shot put (14.41m) and the discus (46.29m). The junior was able to find success on the second day of action, moving up two spots and finishing his season on a high note.
“In our program, we measure our success based on how well we compete in the BIG EAST Championships,” said head coach Greg Roy. “With Championship trophies for the 2013 indoor and outdoor competitions gracing our trophy case, any superlative short of ecstatic would be an understatement. The two championships were achieved in markedly different fashions. For the indoor season, one might say we clicked on all cylinders, leading to a 36 point runaway win. In the outdoor season, our backs were against the wall. These two championships represent what our program has been known for over the last 20 years, which is the ability to rise up on the day.”
The Huskies will look to continue their success next winter when the core group of young athletes will return to the track and compete for another conference championship.